Video Game: Lunar: Eternal Blue
As good as the first.
The second installment in the Game Arts-developed Lunar
series of console role-playing games
- not remade as much as the first but still existing in multiple versions. The titles are:Lunar 2
takes place a thousand years after Lunar 1
, and centers on a teenaged treasure hunter
named Hiro, who is fascinated by the Lunar world's epic past (in short, the events of Lunar 1
). While exploring a ruin he meets Lucia, a Mysterious Waif
with vast magical powers
who immediately announces that the world is "in grave danger
." As if to prove her point, the Big Bad
shows up and puts a curse on Lucia, depowering
her. In response, Hiro takes it upon himself
to help Lucia carry out her mission to meet with the Goddess Althena
, who can set the world to rights. The trouble is that Althena's far-reaching religious organization
thinks that Lucia herself
is the threat to the world, and attempts to stop them at every turn.
Yes, it's a Corrupt Church
plot...that well-worn trope which drives the storyline of many a late 90s Eastern RPG
. But when Lunar 2
debuted in 1995, the corrupt church plot was new to video gaming - in fact, Lunar 2
may have even been the pioneer. Be that as it may, the fact that the game held up well enough for a remake is testament to Lunar 2'
s other strengths - the fun characters, the entertaining, humor-laden writing, and the fantastic soundtrack. The remake, released in the twilight of the PS1
era, is notable for: being the only
remake of Lunar 2
, (unlike Lunar 1
which developers can't seem to leave alone) and having a lot more in common with its Sega CD original than its counterpart, Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
Sample our character sheet
Lunar 2 provides examples of:
- Accidental Pervert: Hiro, when he comes across Lucia while she's bathing and then runs for cover... after a moment of gawking. In Eternal Blue Complete, Lucia (inadvertently) turns the tables and walks in on Hiro, not getting what the big deal is.
- Actual Pacifist: Jean, when she is first introduced in the remake. She hates her violent past so much, she is reluctant to fight even to save her friends. Not so in the original version, where she doesn't seem to mind re-purposing her dancing ability for combat at all.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: This is Hiro's "profession" at the beginning of the game; the introduction even features a long Death Course complete with a rolling boulder chase.
- Ambiguously Brown: Jean, one of many things employed to make her seem foreign and exotic. Also Hiro himself, to a lesser extent, although some of the promotional material doesn't make this quite as clear.
- Artistic Age: The official ages of the characters are younger than they appear. Most striking is Ronfar, who according to Japanese sources is a mere 19-years-old.
- The Atoner: White Knight Leo, Ghaleon, and Master Lunn.
- Bigger Bad: In this game, Ghaleon, the main villain of the first, becomes the dragon of Zophar.
- Big "Shut Up!": Jean gets one in a confrontation with her old master, followed up by a Kiai and delivering a kick to his face.
- Bittersweet Ending: In the "first" ending, Lucia returns to the Blue Star alone to continue her vigil in ensuring it becomes inhabitable again. The Epilogue is frankly not that much better; Hiro finds a way to the Blue Star to join her, but it seems almost certain that he will never return to Lunar to see any of his friends again, and that Lucia and he will be alone for the rest of his lifetime. As far as he's concerned, it's worth it.
- Bland-Name Product: In the Working Designs version of the PSX remake, "Choco Puffs" and "Doome", among others.
- Bookends: The game begins with Lucia asleep in a crystal and Hiro hanging upside down from something like a goof. The game ends with Lucia asleep in a crystal and Hiro hanging upside down like a goof. It's just that the context of the latter is a bit different and way more heartwarming.
- Brought Down to Normal: Lucia is absolutely devastating when she first joins the party, but shortly after Zophar strips her of her powers. Even after you find a cure, it's a long time before she gets anywhere near as formidable (and by then you'll be fighting way stronger random monsters anyway).
- But Now I Must Go: Lucia. Hiro finds a way to go with her in the Playable Epilogue.
- Captain Ersatz: Encountering a giant bird pack animal called a
- Character Development: As well as Lucia, there's Ghaleon, who deliberately invokes all sorts of Evil Overlord tropes before finally demonstrating that Alex and Hiro renewed his faith in humanity and the Power of Friendship.
- Childhood Marriage Promise: Sort of. Ramus once got Lemina to agree to a bet: if he can revive the family business before she revives the Magic Guild of Vane, she has to marry him. (What Lemina gets if she wins isn't mentioned.) When it looks like Ramus's store is actually starting to recover, Lemina is not exactly happy with the prospect of Ramus trying to get her to go through with it...
- Chivalrous Pervert: Ronfar tries peeping at Lucia when she's trying out new clothes, and Hiro tries to stop him only to get clobbered along with him by the girls. In the remake, at least. In the original version he was just trying to get his share of the view. (Lucia, meanwhile, has no idea why the other girls are angry.)
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Ruby is possessive of Hiro and views Lucia as a rival for his affection early in the game.
- Clipped Wing Angel: The fight against Zophar's final form is unloseable.
- Corrupt Church: Althena's Chosen (a.k.a. Althena's Cult in the Sega CD version). Its members are more interested in personal gain than anything else, but the organization is widely tolerated (albeit with a lot of grumbling). The Chosen turn out to be agents of Big Bad Zophar, though it appears the lower-ranked members are unaware of this.
- Creepy Cathedral: Pentagulia, the headquarters of Althena's Chosen, is a sort of combination town/cathedral which comes with an assortment of Ominous Pipe Organ BGM.
- Crutch Character: Lucia starts out with very powerful magic, and she can take out whole groups of monsters single-handedly. It doesn't last for long.
- Dance Battler: In universe, Jean is an acclaimed dancer and she is able to adapt her talent for for use in combat. It's easy for her thanks to her secret history as a martial artist, and eventually she switches to back to martial arts. She still keeps her dance moves, though.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Mere ham-tastic card carrying villainy is not enough for Ghaleon. He takes it to the next level by hanging many a lampshade and anticipating how other characters will behave. The fact that he's seen it from both sides probably helps.
"If there is a god of destiny, he is fond of plot twists...and so am I."
- Defeat Equals Friendship: All of Zophar's flunkies realize the error of their ways after they are defeated, except for the fake Althena, Ghaleon because he was secretly helping the heroes all along, and Leo who he pretty much becomes an ally before you beat him.
- Defeat Means Playable: It takes a while for the payoff, but Leo. He needs to have his Heroic BSOD first.
- Hiro invokes this with Ghaleon with the apparent intent of taking him on as a Sixth Ranger, but it's not to be. Zophar's power is keeping him alive, and Ghaleon re-dies soon after betraying Zophar. Ghaleon knew this would happen all along, and thus kept his aid of the heroes covert for as long as possible.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you're creative with your character placement, it's possible to end the first boss fight of the game in a stalemate by waiting until Lucia runs off into a corner, then surrounding her with Hiro and Gwyn. If both characters get knocked out, the bosses will be unable to reach Lucia to attack her (due to Hiro/Gwyn's bodies being in the way) and Lucia will be unable to fight back (due to having no attacks at that point in the game). If you do this in the Playstation remake, Ruby will promptly flutter down onto the battlefield and take out the boss in a single strike. Doubles as a bit Foreshadowing, although at the time Ruby is just as surprised as the boss.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the first ending, Lucia returns to the Blue Star and leaves Hiro behind. In the Epilogue, Hiro finds a way to go to her.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The defeat of Zophar by Hiro, Ronfar, Jean, Lemina, Leo, Lucia, and Ruby.
- Distaff Counterpart: Story-wise, female Ruby plays much the same role in Lunar 2 as male Nall does in Lunar 1.
- The Dulcinea Effect: Hiro's devotion to Lucia. So much so, in fact, that the The Grand List of Console Role Playing Game Clichés calls this trope the Hiro Rule.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Ghaleon, to the point of Reverse Mole.
- Easter Egg: Working Designs were fans of this trope.
- When fighting the game's first boss, the Guardian, It is possible for Hiro and Gwyn to faint in positions that will block the Guardian's movement and prevent him from reaching Lucia (who cannot attack in this battle). In this unlikely event, Ruby will swoop down and use her fire-breath on the Guardian, destroying it in one hit. Not only a very cool bug fix, but also a bit of foreshadowing.
- Ruby serves as the cursor in the game's menus, flying to the different choices when a directional button is pressed. Press left and right rapidly in the inventory screen and the Ruby cursor will eventually become dizzy.
- Eldritch Abomination: Zophar, who spends most of the game as an Obviously Evil voice. When first seen, he seems to be some kind of giant stone cuttlefish monster, taller than the sky, with dragon tentacles and a face. The relationship between this form, the much more compact "lair" that he made for himself, and the bizarrely feminine humanoids fought to "kill" him is never elaborated upon.
- Element Number Six: Lucia favors a sort of non-elemental Star-themed magic that blows away enemies of all elements indiscriminately, despite carefully laying out a five-element system (especially in the remake).
- Justified in that she can directly access the magic that created the world.
- Emotionless Girl: When Lucia is introduced, her outlook is strictly utilitarian and she's completely ignorant of human culture. She steadily learns about emotions and how to interact with people as time passes.
- Enemy Of My Enemy: Why Zophar brought Ghaleon back from the dead - Zophar evidently assumed that since Ghaleon opposed Althena before, he'd be up for a grudge match. He's so very wrong. Turns out that being dead for a thousand years gave Ghaleon a lot of time to think about the error of his ways.
- Expy:A handful of characters appear to be simply re-tooled versions of characters from Lunar 1.
- Combine the Mr. Vice Guy aspect of Kyle with the gameplay role of Jessica and who do you get? Ronfar.
- Averted to some degree - Lemina is a veritable Palette Swap of Mia and has the same Elemental Powers, but couldn't be more unlike Mia personality-wise. Lemina is an extremely pushy extrovert, while Mia was an extremely polite introvert.
- At the other end of the spectrum, there's Ramus, the descendant of the first game's Ramus, who is a perfect replica of his ancestor. The Grand List named a line item for him, too.
- Fake Difficulty: When they localized the Sega CD version of Eternal Blue, Working Designs added in a feature that forced players to pay a certain amount of XP earned from battle to save the game. This feature was left out of the Eternal Blue Complete on the Playstation, and Working Designs acknowledged in the official strategy guide for the game that "it was much more annoying than challenging."
- Fake Goddess The "Goddess Althena" is clearly not who she seems. The ending of the remakes of the first game make clear why any presented Goddess would have to be fake; the original Sega CD game's ending did not.
- Fan Disservice: Borgan's Bromide◊ takes a "so clean, it's dirty", Shower Scene bromide featuring Lemina, but swaps Lemina out with Villainous Glutton Gonk Borgan. Let us never speak of it again.
- Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: Lucia gets put through a short one by the other female members of the party.
- Five-Bad Band: Played straight.
- Five-Man Band:
- The Gambler: Ronfar, who swears by his dice...even to the point of having attacks that involve rolling them.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: This game got the equivalent of an "E" rating at the time - it's hard to believe that it got away with it.
- The Corrupt Church plot as well - within about an hour it becomes obvious that the church is trying to accumulate money and that they're highly corrupt. It's hard to believe nobody got offended by it in the 1990s.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Some of the bosses seem to exist just so there can be a boss fight at the end of the dungeon. Of particular note is the Sega CD version's "Phantom Sentry" that shows up out of nowhere (there's no indication whatsoever that a boss fight is imminent), looks like a gun-slinging samurai (in a setting that otherwise completely lacks firearms), and makes cryptic comments to Lucia before vanishing, never to be seen again... Until the Epilogue, in which he returns and actually becomes important to the plot.
- God Is Dead: For much of the game, you're seeking out the Goddess Althena. Then you find out she died a thousand years ago. But if you played the first game, that's not really a spoiler.
- Handsome Lech: Ronfar has a reputation as being thoroughly debauched, and his shtick is flirting with NPCs, frequently and shamelessly. This wears on the nerves of his fellow party members, but he's totally a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Have You Seen My God?: Something is up with the Goddess Althena, and Lucia has to reach her in order to solve the mystery.
- Heel-Face Turn: Apparently being dead for a thousand years gave Ghaleon a lot of time to reconsider his past actions. So when he's resurrected as Zophar's Dragon, he immediately begins subverting the Big Bad's plot. First subtly, and then overtly, despite knowing he's guaranteed to die again as a result.
- Heel Realization: White Knight Leo. This is the reason why he flip-flops between Heel and Face. By the time he's mostly sided with Hiro, he's had to accept that the Althena he served was a fake goddess, put into position by the real dark god, Zophar, and that the woman he's been trying to slay, Lucia "the destroyer", was actually carrying out the will of the real goddess Althena by trying to protect the world from Zophar. It's a tough pill to swallow.
- Heroic BSOD: White Knight Leo, who, after finding out that he's a servant for Zophar, has one that lasts until the final act of the game, at which point he becomes permanently playable.
- Heroic Second Wind: Near the end of the game, Zophar's victory looks certain. The party is and in some cases demoralized, when Ghaleon shows up to finish them off. That's when the heroes rise up and re-empower themselves based solely on their own inner strength.
- Hilarious Outtakes: In the Playstation remake, as before, your reward for watching the entire credits roll is these. Of particular note is Jean's VA having several That Came Out Wrong moments and Ghaleon's hamming it up to extreme levels (even moreso than he does in the actual game, that is).
- Humanity Ensues: Nall's form of choice in Lunar 2 is a punky teenage human. Ruby also had a human form drawn in the artbook, whether this was ever planned to be implemented in the plot at all is anyone's guess.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Lucia slowly learns human behaviors as the game proceeds, developing empathy toward her companions. Even the Big Bad knows this trope...since it's the cornerstone of his Batman Gambit to take advantage of Lucia via a Friend or Idol Decision scenario.
- Humans Are Special: This trope appears again and again, starting with Lucia's amazement that Ronfar was able to overcome Zophar's curse, and culminating in the "power of humanity" - which effectively means that all of the player characters are Determinators. Even Ghaleon, whose motivation in the Silver Star Story was the belief that humans needed a god, now believes in this.
- Identical Grandson: This game's Ramus is a descendant of the Ramus in the first game.
- If It Swims, It Flies: In the games, the Dragonship Destiny can only travel by land and sea. However, in the Childhood's End manga, the Dragonship Destiny somehow gains the ability to fly as well. Leo explains it as being possible through sheer righteousness and willpower.
- Infallible Babble: Ruby takes any and every opportunity to remind people that she is not a cat, she is a baby Red Dragon. No one in-universe takes her seriously, but the audience knows she's right.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Lucia is ignorant of nudity taboos. Crowning Moment of Funny when she walks in on Hiro while he's soaking in a hot spring.
- Inspector Javert: White Knight Leo has a reputation for single-mindedness where his duty is concerned. He proves that it's well earned by turning the first half of the game into a Stern Chase.
- Karma Houdini: Master Lunn and Borgan are too Easily Forgiven. Subverted by Ghaleon, the game's only atoner for whom Redemption Equals Death.
- Kawaisa: There is a bromide of Nall where he and Ruby are asleep and dreaming of the same thing: fish. It's unbelievably cute.
- Kissing Discretion Shot: Right before the final credits when Hiro is leaning in for a kiss, the camera starts pulling up and away. We do get to see their lips meet, but only for a split-second...
- Knight in Shining Armor: Also, this is what White Knight Leo thinks he is...
- Large Ham: Ghaleon is at least as hammy as before, if not more so.
- And Zophar matches him, ham for ham.
- Don't forget Mystere!
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: There is a book, which the player has access to within few minutes into the second game, that outlines the plot of the first game. It's also hard to look into the game at all without finding out about Ghaleon.
- Magic Dance: Jean's special attacks call down clouds of bees and butterflies and create illusions, among other things.
- Mayfly-December Romance: Something of a theme.
- Especially now that she has Althena's divine spark, Lucia is probably immortal and will in all likelihood greatly outlive Hiro; it's inferred that this is one of the reasons she returns to the Blue Star, as she is hesitant to watch him grow old and die (and she can't just make him immortal or resurrect him, remember - "there can be no new life without the destruction of the old"). Hiro goes to her anyway.
- This is also part of the reason all versions of Silver Star happened in the first place - Althena could not bear to watch another Dragonmaster age and perish while she persisted eternally, and so chose mortality of her own free will and lived out the end of her life with Alex.
- Also applies, after a fashion, to the dragons and any human they know, lovers or otherwise. Nall outlived all of his original close friends by a millenium; in Lunar 2, Ruby finds the concept that she'll almost certainly live to the point that Hiro could be practically forgotten a very, very hard pill to swallow.
- Miser Advisor: You'd be forgiven for thinking that Lemina's calling in life is wheedling money out of everyone she encounters. It's actually not, but good intentions aren't going to repair the Guildhouse roof.
- Naked on Arrival / Naked First Impression: Lucia, being an Emotionless Girl, has a lot of these scenes and takes a long time to figure out what the big deal is about Hiro seeing her naked. By the time she gets it, she's not pleased.
- Names to Know in Anime: The Japanese version of Lunar 2 is a roster of top seiyuu talent of the 90s.
- Narrator: At the beginning of Eternal Blue Complete, Ghaleon (for some reason) opens the story by talking about the history of Althena, Lunar and the Blue Star.
- No Social Skills: Lucia.
Ruby: "I mean you shouldn't get too close to Hiro, because you'd be setting yourself up for a fall."
Lucia: "Now I understand. You mean that Hiro tends to trip people who get too close. I will remember to walk several paces behind him in the future."
- Off Model: The character models change a lot and some of the animation is stodgy for the Sega Saturn and PS1 cutscenes, which is a heavy contrast to the models and animation seen in the Sega CD version (and to the much higher-quality remakes of the first Lunar game for that matter).
- Oh Crap!: Ronfar sees a bunch of kids who previously pelted him with pinecones, and threatens to "introduce them to his belt." The group rounds the corner to see a massive cannonball on an oversized sling, armed and ready. This is his exact reaction.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Zophar.
Zophar: "It's time to destroy... everything..."
- One-Hit Kill: Ruby pulls off one against the first boss if you follow a very specific set of actions.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Lucia for a time, after she gets depowered by Zophar. She also loses the ability to attack, and runs away at any chance she gets.
- Oral Fixation: Ronfar constantly has a twig hanging out of his mouth (as an indicator of underworld connections.)
- Playable Epilogue: Hmm... Bonus Dungeons!
- Power Fist: Jean's weapon of choice after her costume change.
- Rapunzel Hair: The fake Althena has dark, curly hair that reaches the floor.
- Retcon: Seemingly averted, as Eternal Blue Complete ignored several of the new plot points introduced in Silver Star Story such as Luna being the only time Althena ever incarnated as a human.
- Redemption Equals Death: Ghaleon. Well, re-death in his case. An interesting example, sort of a combination of Heroic Sacrifice and a Double Subversion of Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves. At the same time.
- Restraining Bolt: Ghaleon is only kept alive by Zophar's power meaning Zophar can kill him at any time, just by no longer supplying it. While that would work with a case of Ambition Is Evil it's not a big deal to an Anti-Hero who didn't mind dying once he'd achieved his goal the first time around.
- Reverse Mole: Ghaleon. Interestingly, in the original version of the first game, which this follows from, Nash pulled this on him, which is probably part of why he's so Genre Savvy about it.
- Secret Identity: When forced to break his vows, Leo becomes The Amazing Mystere! to correct things. He apparently doesn't realize that his Paper-Thin Disguise doesn't fool the heroes.
- It's not supposed to fool the heroes. He just knows that he can't help them openly as himself without risking the lives of others, so he invents a ridiculous persona.
- Sequel Hook: Lunar 2 has a fair number of these, what with the revelations that there's a lot more backstory to the game than initially suggested and a lot of it is unexplored, Hiro going to live with Lucia, and then there's the matter of that big fortress on the Blue Star, which would sure make a lovely dungeon, wouldn't it. Lunar 3 was in various stages of development in the late 90s and very early 2000s, but then stalled out over legal disputes between management members. The hooks have been left dangling for over a decade in some cases, now.
- Series Continuity Error: In the remake. Vane and the Grindery are not where they were left at the end of Silver Star Story/Harmony, but remain in the spots they occupy at the end of The Silver Star.
- Also, the recording from Althena for Lucia reflects the version of the story from The Silver Star, in which Luna was just the last of many human guises Althena took, and she chose to remain human because she'd fallen in love. Silver Star Story changed this completely, having Althena choose to be reborn as the human Luna because she felt Lunar no longer needed a goddess to govern it.
- Stay with the Aliens: Sort of, depending on how you define "alien". Hiro travels to the Blue Star to be with Lucia in the Playable Epilogue.
- Stealth Mentor: Ghaleon. He plays this to a "T". Threatening and helpful by turns, he's clearly perusing his own agenda...which involves goading the heroes into unlocking their true potential.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: The name of the hero in Lunar 2? Hiro.
- The Stinger: The "Epilogue" mode.
- Take That: A book in Vane (at least in the Sega CD version) mentions "Killing Barney made easy". Ruby even says "Hallelujah! It's about time someone wrote this book!"
- Teach Her Anger: This trope is Jean's backstory in a nutshell. She was kidnapped by a cult of assassins, where an Evil Mentor taught her to fight, to feel nothing but anger, and to channel her rage into a killing instinct. Eventually she realized what an awful thing she had learned, and was so dead-set against following her master's teachings anymore that she turned into a pacifist. In fact, when Hiro meets her, she is ashamed after she loses control and opens a can of whoopass on a monster to save her new friends. Over the course of the game, she becomes more of a Martial Pacifist as she learns that she can use her strength to help people, not to kill.
- Thug Dojo: The Shadow Dragon Cult, which provided the aforementioned training.
- A Twinkle in the Sky: In a gag sequence, the girls Megaton Punch Ronfar and Hiro for spying on Lucia while she's changing, resulting in one of these.
- Unwinnable by Mistake: In the Japanese versions of the remake, the first boss fight is potentially unwinnable if Hiro and Gwyn are knocked out in spots that keep the boss from reaching Lucia. The boss can't attack Lucia (to trigger a Game Over) and Lucia can't fight back (to win the fight), necessitating a console reset. Creatively fixed in the Working Designs version (see: The Dev Team Thinks of Everything entry.)
- Unwitting Pawn: Hiro's party to certain degree. Zophar allowed Hiro's party to humanize Lucia enough so that she could not bring herself to cast the ultimate spell on Zophar, which would have destroyed Lunar as well. Zophar took advantage of this and captured Lucia, stealing her power to make himself even stronger.
- Verbal Tic: Lemina loves to prefix words with "mega-" for emphasis.
- We Are as Mayflies: In Eternal Blue, Nall has been alive for the past thousand years, long after his friends from the first game are dead and gone. This is a major cornerstone for his friendship with Ruby, who has to come to terms that she'll long outlive her non-dragon friends, too...
- Wham Episode: Midgame wham - The Althena Church is obviously corrupt, but it turns out to be the front for Zophar's world domination efforts. And it's effectively succeeded already. Lategame wham - Lucia is a destroyer after all, though unintentionally. If she uses Althena's power to destroy Zophar, it will un-create the world.
- The first ending, in which Lucia decides to go back to the Blue Star and leave Hiro behind.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Caldor Isle, a major location in the first game. You visit a ton of areas from Lunar 1, but never Caldor Isle. The place is barely even mentioned, which seems odd given how historically important it is.
- Given that it's a thousand years later, and geography can change quite a bit in that amount of time, Caldor is highly likely gone by now. Especially seeing as the world maps no longer match up very well at all, and the area that roughly corresponds to where it used to be seems to be one massive glacier now.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: In essence, Lucia's Character Development is learning it (among other things).
- What The Hell, Heroine?: In the middle of the game, Lucia briefly abandons the group after they agree to save a village from a snowstorm, saying that Zophar was far more important to deal with than a dying town. Just before you come across the boss that caused the storm, she comes back and heals the party from being frozen to death, saying that she felt worried for her friends.
- Shortly afterward, Lemina attempts to charge the village's inhabitants for getting rid of the monster. The other party members don't let her.
- Zeroth Law Rebellion: The raison d'etre for Mystere! When Leo finds that being Lawful Good isn't all it's cracked up to be, he whips up a paper thin superhero disguise to "anonymously" do the right thing.